Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical treatment that is used to treat many illnesses and problems. This alternative medicine has been gaining respect and popularity in the US as many people look for treatment options to avoid medication and surgery. Studies are showing that acupuncture has been used to treat an increasing number of ailments, including allergies.
Studies of Acupuncture and Allergies
Research is beginning to show that acupuncture may help relieve allergy symptoms. Studies conducted in South Korea have been done to test how effective it is in treating chronic rhinosinusitis and allergic rhinitis. These conditions are caused by perennial and seasonal allergies and cause inflammation in the nasal passage tissue when exposed to allergens.
During this five week study, patients suffering from both of these conditions underwent two 20-minute acupuncture treatments by experienced medical doctors. Symptoms were assessed at the beginning of the study, at the end, and eight weeks after the trial began.
These patients reported statistically significant reductions in symptoms at both the five and eight week checks. This was a small study with only 19 patients; however a larger study is now being conducted at University Medical Center in Berlin Germany.
Reviews of the small study in South Korea and other published trials, researchers have concluded that there is some evidence that supports the claim that acupuncture is a beneficial and cost-effective treatment option for those who suffer from allergies.
Acupuncture Treatment for Allergies
If you are planning on trying acupuncture to treat your allergy symptoms, the first thing you will want to do is make sure that you find an excellent practitioner. Your doctor may be able to administer the treatment or recommend someone who can or you can check with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
The treatment itself places very thin needles in strategic locations to help with your specific needs. These needles are so small that they cause little to no discomfort. A treatment typically lasts for about 20 minutes and the acupuncture practitioner may stimulate the needles with heat or electricity. Sometimes this may be done while you are being exposed to the allergen in an effort to reprogram the body to not produce an allergic reaction.